A new report shows Georgia’s forest industry continues to impact to the state’s economy.
In 2016, increases were recorded in the number of jobs, compensation paid to employees, and output — the total revenue generated by the industry. That figure rose 9.6 percent from the previous year to $35.2 billion.
According to "Economic Benefits of the Forest Industry in Georgia, 2016," from the Georgia Institute of Technology’s Enterprise Innovation Institution, gains were made in categories across the board.
"We’re pleased to see statistics bear out what our industry partners are telling us," said Gov. Nathan Deal. "Almost 145,000 Georgians hold jobs supported by the forest industry, which is an increase from 2015, and the sixth consecutive year of job growth."
The report shows across all manufacturing industries in Georgia, the forest products industry ranked first in total compensation at $3.7 billion. In addition, the industry provided the state with $778 million in tax revenues for 2016.
"Clearly forestry is a strong force in Georgia," said Georgia Forestry Commission Director Chuck Williams. "Plus, these positive economic impacts complement forestry’s ongoing ecosystem services benefits to the state — clean air, clean water, wildlife, aesthetics and recreation."
A recent University of Georgia study showed ecosystem benefits provided by forests to Georgia have an estimated annual value of $37 billion.
Other highlights of the 2016 Georgia Tech report show:
• The urban forest industry sector contributed an additional 45,000 jobs and $4 billion in output.
• Georgia’s pulp and paper industry continues to dominate all sectors within the forest industry; 12 pulp mills represented 63 percent of total revenue output, followed by forest management and logging and lumber and wood preservation.
• Three regions lead the state in terms of employment, accounting for 41 percent of the forestry related jobs in Georgia: Atlanta Regional Commission, Southern Georgia and Heart of Georgia Altamaha.
"Georgia has earned its reputation as ‘No. 1 forestry state in the nation," said Williams, "and our goal is to keep this precious resource sustainable for every person – in the new year ahead, and for generations to come."
Read the full report at www.gatrees.org/utilization/economic-impacts/.